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NCAA student-athletes join Habitat for Humanity to build home in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS, La. (March 14, 2007) – In conjunction with the first- and second-round games of the 2007 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, student-athletes from Tulane University are joining volunteers from the NCAA and New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity to frame a house in partnership with a local New Orleans family. The build will take place on Friday, March 16, on Girod Street between the Louisiana Superdome and the New Orleans Arena.

The home will be framed at the build site and then moved to a permanent location in New Orleans. Following the build, the home will remain on display on Girod Street through Sunday, March 18. More than 60 student-athletes and staff from Tulane University will participate as construction volunteers.

“This build is a great opportunity for our student-athletes to give back to the community that has embraced them,” said Rick Dickson, director of athletics at Tulane University. “By participating in this event, our student-athletes are able to exemplify the supporting role that intercollegiate athletics plays in enhancing the sense of community and strengthening the identity of member institutions.”

The NCAA is funding the entire cost of the house, estimated at $75,000. The New Orleans project is the latest in the NCAA Home Team partnership with Habitat for Humanity International, which began in 2005 after hurricanes struck the Gulf Coast. The NCAA has committed $2.5 million for the three-year partnership. Since the partnership began, more than 800 student-athletes and other volunteers have helped build nearly 20 homes in partnership with families in need.

“Through the NCAA Home Team partnership, the NCAA has committed to aid the rebuilding efforts in the Gulf Coast for over a year now. It is special that we can be here in New Orleans and experience the energy and enthusiasm of this reviving community,” said Melody Lawrence, NCAA Home Team project coordinator.

“By working together, the NCAA and Habitat for Humanity give new meaning to ‘team building,’” said Chris Clarke, senior vice president, Habitat for Humanity International. “The NCAA brings much needed funding and volunteers to address the needs of families displaced by the hurricanes. They also reach out to America’s youth and encourage them to make a difference.”

“The devastation that occurred 18 months ago was overwhelming, but we have been fortunate that so many organizations such as the NCAA have provided assistance with our rebuilding efforts,” said Jim Pate, executive director, New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. “By working together we can bring hope to those displaced by the hurricanes, as well as those in need of simple, decent, affordable and safe housing.”

About the NCAA

The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 380,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 49,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA Championships in Division I, II and III sports. Visit www.ncaa.org for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes.

About New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity
New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, or NOAHH, an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. NOAHH builds new houses in partnership with sponsors, volunteers, communities, and homeowner families to eliminate poverty housing in the New Orleans area while serving as a catalyst to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. In the coming years, NOAHH plans to build 1,500 homes in Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines parishes. To learn more visit www.habitat-nola.org.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, Ga., in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.